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Key information

Subject area:

Stackable Microcredentials

Course type:

Assessed Module

Credit level:


Credit value:



10 weeks

Available course dates:

From: 13 January 2025 To: 28 March 2025
Application deadline: 02 December 2024

Course overview

This module is structured into three parts:

1. What is offence?

2. What is offensive in today’s society?

3. How should we respond to offence?

The module will examine offence in both historical and contemporary contexts. It will enable you to understand what offence is, to establish how and why offence can occur, and provide an understanding of the shifting attitudes towards offence. Through an exploration of key debates surrounding offence and free speech you will be able to recognise how historical and social attitudes have influenced contemporary attitudes to offence. You will have the opportunity to critically engage with offence in today’s society, specifically how offence manifests itself and how the culture wars act as a means of manufacturing offence. Finally, you will understand and establish constructive strategies for responding to offence by considering how individuals, institutions and the state should respond to offence and question their responsibility to act.

What does this course cover?

The aims of this module are to:

  • Establish what offence is
  • Consider offence from the perspective of the offender and the offended
  • Provide an overview of key theories, debates and thinkers on offence
  • Develop understandings of offence in contemporary society
  • Analyse an array of different case studies, materials, and resources for exploring offence and its impact
  • Understand a range of responses to offence and be able to propose constructive strategies for responding to offence.

What will I achieve?

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Identify different forms of offence
  • Analyse key debates surrounding offence and free speech
  • Critically assess the ethics of various forms of offence
  • Evaluate the impact of power relations when causing offence/feeling offended
  • Understand how theories of offence connect to lived experiences
  • Recognise individuals have agency when choosing how to respond to offence
  • Propose constructive strategies for responding to offence.

Who will I learn with?

Nicole Graham

Nicole Graham

Lecturer in Ethics and Values

Who is this for?

The standard entry requirements comprise:

  • A 2:2 honours degree or international equivalent,
  • A CV and personal statement outlining your reasons for study; and
  • English language band C (for example, IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in reading & writing and 6.0 in listening & speaking).

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a 4,000 word assignment.

What is the teaching schedule?

This is an online module, where you will be expected to engage with online webinars. Exact days and times will be provided upon enrolment.

Further information

This module is offered as part of our flexible master’s awards in Professional Development. The awards are one of the most flexible currently offered in the UK, providing the opportunity to study a range of modules from across King’s, both on-campus and online. Whether you are looking for a promotion or to retrain, you have come to the right place.

Designed for mature professionals juggling life and work commitments, our postgraduate awards will enable you to study at your own pace. In challenging financial times, you are also able to fund your studies module-by-module. We will support you to select the right module diet that meets your objectives while ensuring that you are well prepared for success. We will also help you to build your professional network of peers from across our suite of CPD modules.

We can’t wait for you to continue your lifelong learning journey here at King’s.